On December 22, 2017, the National Anti-corruption Commission (CONAC) revealed the scale of corruption at Cameroon’s customs administration. This was disclosed in its 2016 report, published that day, in Yaoundé, the country’s capital.
The report showed that because of corruption and fraud practices, which are widespread within the sector, the public treasury has lost CFA1,246 billion between 2010 and 2015.
This represents about 75% of Cameroon’s public investment budget (PIB) in 2016 (CFA1, 500 billion). A substantial part of this amount results from inconsistencies between the figures declared by customs and monies actually paid to the public treasury.
CONAC‘s report also highlights the lavish lifestyle of Cameroon’s customs officers who live in a luxurious neighborhood in a suburb of Douala, the economic capital.
According to CONAC, 21 of these officers interrogated during the investigation, confessed to owning many buildings in Douala and other places as well as bank accounts with more than CFA134 million credit balance.
“The most famous” of these wealthy civil servants is a customs adjutant serving in Maroua, in the Far-North. Without revealing his name, the report indicates that he “is the owner of 13 villas, built on titled lands, a 5-story building, also built on a titled land, and 10 registered lands”.
To this large real estate properties, add “five 30-ton trucks, five 28-seats Toyota Coasters, two 18-seat buses and a car park full of world-class vehicles”.